Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some bentos

I got this packet of sugar bunnies shaped seaweed from friend... very cute, isn't it? Put it to use immediately on top of the rice in bento. Together with the rice, there was golden kiwi, blueberries, cherry tomatoes and tako balls.

This second bento contains pear, cherry tomatoes, samosa, Anpanman fries, and sausage and cheese rolls. Love the silhouette of the girl on seaweed.

Homemade blueberry pancakes with broccoli, popcorn chicken, and papaya.

Blueberry pancakes again, with siew mai, young corn, cherries and hello kitty fishcake.

Instant Mi Goreng with apple cheese sausage, tako ball, hello kitty fishcake, young corn, donut peach, papaya and blueberries.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Durian is the 'King of Fruits' as most locals know it. It's a thorny fruit with lots of spikes and the flesh within is a gorgeous white/yellow creaminess. Not everyone likes it, and it is an acquired taste, but I do know of a few Caucasians who love the stuff. I can't describe it very well, but here's a link that might give you a better idea, Jori. Check it out.

Here's another interesting one.

Today's bento and lunch

Alright, mummy's still in lazy mode. I bought some wassants yesterday, as requested by princess. We're addicted to the stuff and a pack of 10 is gone now in a day! In her bento, I packed a wassant, golden kiwi, some crisps made from peas (if only she knew that... she doesn't like peas but I bet she'll eat this stuff haha), a pack of pistachios and a little cocoa-coated nut.

I saw this packet of noodles a few times at the supermarket but didn't buy it. Then one day, I decided to just get it to try out. I like the fact that it's frozen which makes it really handy for me. Princess loves noodles but often, a packet is too much so for this one, what I did was to break off a piece. Even so, it was a big bowl. Will break off slightly lesser next round. It's somewhat like instant noodles, but it's fresh, and the texture is nice, and princess loved it. And I think, that's all that matters. ;) It's great for those days when you just don't know what to cook for a little one. Just boil some stock, or some miso-based soup, add a couple of veg, some fishballs, crabsticks, minced meat balls etc and voila, a healthy and nutritious dish!.

I made this for lunch today. There were fishballs, broccolini, Jap fishcake & a sprinkle of hello kitty furikake.

Another gift from a friend who just got back from Taiwan. Thanks!

Rice cooker 'claypot' chicken rice

I'm not really sure if I've shared this recipe before on my blog... but this is my version of claypot chicken rice, cooked in a rice cooker. I've not done it in a very long time, since I changed to my current rice cooker. Very glad that princess ate it all up, even though when she saw it, she said, I don't like claypot rice. And hubby had a big plate and asked for seconds, and wiped the entire pot out. :D He said it was his favourite dish, gosh I didn't even know that. Hahaha. Now I do.

Ingredients -

1. Chicken Thighs or wings would be nice, but whole chicken also can, depending on how many people you're feeding.

2. Lap cheong ( I usually prefer chicken from Bee Cheng Hiang) - sliced thinly

3. Salted fish (sliced)

4. Dried shittake mushroom (soaked in water then sliced up - keep water for later).

5. Xiao bai chye or any green leafy veg like chye sim

6. A few slices of ginger for chicken

Seasoning (for chicken) -

Dark soy sauce
Oyster sauce
white pepper
sesame oil

Method -

1. Season chicken for a couple of hours.

2. Fry lap cheong & remove. Do the same for mushroom & salted fish. Set aside.

3. Fry garlic till fragrant and add chicken. Stir fry for a while till chicken slightly cooked. Add mushroom water and enough water to cook rice in. ** Let chicken cook almost through. While chicken is cooking, I like to add in veg just for a few seconds before removing to set aside. It will absorb the flavours from the sauce.

4. Measure & wash rice before pouring in sauce from chicken. Set chicken aside for later.

5. This one is tricky... I used to have a rice cooker which took ages to cook rice so I could time it such that I knew which ingredients could go in first etc, but my current rice cooker cooks in 20mins! So, the minute the water starts bubbling, I have to open it to add the wings & drumlets before allow it to continue cooking. The minute the rice is cooked, I add in the rest of the chicken fillet, lap cheong, salted fish and mushroom. Last will be the veg prior to serving.

Happy cooking!

** For 2 cups of rice for 2 adults & 1 child, I used approximately 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups water.

Luo Han Guo

I was told by some friends to boil this Chinese herbal drink for my girl. It's supposed to be good for the chest or lungs and also to help get rid of phlegm. So one friend tells me her recipe, and another has a recipe, and me having no experience with herbal drink, went to the supermarket and looked around at the shelves to try to pick up whatever they mentioned. While at this particular shelf, I was holding on to a big bag of chrysanthemum flowers when an elderly lady asked me how much the packet was selling for. I gave her the price and just took the opportunity to ask her how to brew this stuff. She rattled off a few ingredients and some I've not heard of, and fearing that I'd forget them, typed them in my mobile as she spoke. Hehe. So from the supermarket, I walked across to the Chinese medical hall and got the luo han guo, etc. Brewed it for a few hours and got three bottles of it.

Recipe (just so I know for future reference) -

1 luo han guo
chrysathemum flowers
gan cao - few barks (the woody-looking pieces)
jin ying hua ( just a little as is bitter)
some rock sugar

Bento, bento, bento

My last few bentos this week have been super lazy ones. I haven't been in the mood to do much work on them. Think I'm still recovering from the hectic weekend and so is little one. She's been waking up very late in the mornings, and only today woke up earlier at 8 plus, due to her blocked nose and coughing. Sigh, what shall I do? She's been ill for over a month & just completed her 14-day anti-bio. :( I was also suffering from a very stiff neck and shoulder past two days and it put me in a 'not feeling like doing anything' mood. But good thing is, and I'm so proud of myself, that I cooked dinner the entire week. Hurray!

This bento has cinnamon bagel with cream cheese & blueberry jam, cheese stick, golden kiwi & blueberries, and an apple carrot sausage. She's recently in a bagel phase. However, I always forget and get them toasted for her, and they turn out very hard. This one I got from Cold Storage and it wasn't toasted.

A super lazy bento of sliced pizzas made from frozen supermarket pizza, golden kiwi & blueberries again. Those were the only fruits I had in my fridge.

I took a walk to the supermarket just near my place and picked up some dragonfruits & starfruit, thinking that starfruit would be good for the throat. However, she ate everything in the box and came home with the 2 pcs of starfruits hahaha. I had carrot ham in the shape of a flower, and used the same ham for the filling in the sandwiches. I also finally made my double tone bear with the cheese I made last week, but never got to use. However mine didn't turn out as well as mothering corner's. Check hers out.

I love the little rocket cutter but these transport cutters were way too tough to cut through the sandwiches so I only made the one rocket. I tried the fire-engine and everything just got stuck in the crevices.

This is how I place them to 'rest' and cover with anti-bac sheet before packing the boxes up for school.

All ready to go!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A snack bento

I have been super efficient today. Did my chores, cooked dinner, laundry washing as we speak...

Made a bolognaise for dinner because Princess came home last evening and asked what was for dinner... and... 'rice again?'. Ok ok, we'll have pasta tomorrow. ;) So having prepared my sauce this morning, she had some for lunch. Thus, only packed her a light snack bento of mah lai kow, raspberries & blueberries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to school (bumper post)

The house is finally peaceful again. Not that my girl is a noisy person, but 'mummy this, mummy that' really gets to you after a month! Really enjoying this moment of being alone at home.

The term began on Monday but since she is having a bad cough, over a month now, I didn't want to send her back. Just saw the paed last week and he prescribed a 2 week course of anti-bio. Thank goodness it's not yucky for her else imagine the struggle. She dislikes the cough mixture which makes her gag. She really enjoyed staying at home, and going out on playdates in the second n third weeks, and for the last week, we did quiet things, like stay home, visited my aunt, and basically just winding down to get ready to go back to school.

Lots of stuff to update today, so let's begin...

I woke up rather early this morning to prepare bentos for hubby and his mate at work. Well, I had gotten some lovely lemon pepper turkey breast from the cold cuts section at Cold Storage and thought I'd make a potato salad, and a sandwich is relatively simple to put together in the morning. Made the potato salad yesterday, so just had to cut up some fruits before completing the bento.

I really like this box, it's great for bento and a nice size, but more an adult size. It's way too big for a kids' portion. Tks Al. I've ran out of them... hint hint. :P

It was a very busy morning, but thankfully I did my homework last night. I had leftover Jap rice so made it into yaki onigiri shaped like cinnamoroll, using the mould of course. I found it tough to flip the onigiri in the frying pan once the rice softened. One ear came loose, but I managed to just squueze it in together in the box. Here's the lovely site where I learnt to make it... very simple to do.

Friend just back from Japan gave me a packet of this seaweed. It's been some time since my last supplies ran out so very happy. :)

After hubby left for work, it was time to get to work on princess' bento. Her first this term, so tried to make something nice for her. :) She wasn't really excited to go back to school, such a change from her first term at school. Then, during March hols, she was asking, why must there be holidays?? Hahha. Now you ask her, are you happy to go back to school? She keeps quiet or shrugs her shoulders lol.

Her bento has yaki onigiri, cherries, blueberries, carrot with broccoli floret for the leafy part, a gigantic grape, would you believe the size of it?! It's like 4cm long! I don't know what the grape is supposed to be haha but it looks like a car with the blueberries as wheels.

What follows below are stuff that I've made over the past few weeks since my last post.

My first time doing them - Yaki Onigiri. Yummy!

Cute fish omu rice bento. Think I did quite well with the fish. Of course it's not original. I copied it from one of my bento books. :P

Rice was served with this curry from a packet which I got at the supermarket. I don't read Jap so not sure if it's for younger kids. All it says on the back of the packet is that it's for kids. Anyway, she loved it and finished every drop of gravy haha. Love the cute packaging.

A late lunch of supermarket-bought sushi, Meiji yoghurt (her current favourite), and some fruits.

Went to Aunt's place last week and had a sushi session. She mentioned that she wanted to learn to make them so I bought some stuff from Daiso to do them. We all had fun, even though lots of work in preparing the ingredients.